CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (March 11, 2022) – Three members of the Stevens Institute of Technology wrestling team will return to Hoboken as All-Americans after the first day of competition at the 2022 Division III Wrestling Championships.
Graduate student Brett Kaliner (149) and junior Kyle Slendorn (149) remain alive in the championship bracket in their respective weight classes, while junior Stefan Major remains in the hunt in the consolation bracket at 174.
The All-America recognition is the fifth of Kaliner’s career and the third for Slendorn. Major earns his first-All-America honor in his first national championship tournament.
As a team, the Ducks sit in fifth with 29.5 points. Wartburg leads the team standings with 58 points, while Augsburg sits in second with 45. Wabash amassed 40.5 points to finish the opening day in third place, with North Central (32.5) sitting three points ahead of Stevens in fourth place to round out the top -five.
Kaliner, the top seed at 149, opened his tournament with a tech fall over Kyle Merritt. Kaliner was leading 16-1 at the time of the third-period stoppage. The West Chester, Pennsylvania native scored a takedown and a four-point near-fall in the opening period, before adding another four-point near-fall to go along with a pair of takedowns in the second period. Kaliner closed out his first match of the day with another takedown to secure the tech fall.
In the quarterfinals, Kaliner scored a third-period pin of Ohio Northern’s Chase Sumner, the eighth seed in the field. Kaliner will meet unseeded Ryan Fleck from the University of Chicago in the semifinals. Already a member of the exclusive four-time All-Americans at Stevens, Kaliner is now one of just five student-athletes in department history to earn five All-America recognition.
Slendorn, meanwhile, also posted two bonus-point wins in moving to the semifinal round at 141. The Howell, New Jersey native, who is ranked fifth in the weight class, began his tournament with a 13-3 major decision over Wabash’s Daniel Uribe . Slendorn and Uribe engaged in a back-and-forth opening period, with Slendorn coming away with a 5-3 advantage. He then pitched a shutout over the final two periods, outsourcing Uribe 8-0 to secure the victory.
In his second match, Slendorn matched up with a familiar foe in Messiah’s Josiah Gehr. The duo met most recently in the 141-pound championship at the Middle Atlantic Conference Championships. Slendorn came away with a third-period fall after connecting on a takedown early in the final stanza. Slendorn matches up with the bracket’s top seed, Jordin James of Mount Union.
Competing in his first national championship tournament, Major began his tournament with a 10-2 major decision over Chicago’s Ben Sarasin, who was the fourth seed in the bracket. Major opened up a 7-0 over two periods, keeping Sarasin off the board until a takedown with only 14 seconds remaining in the final period.
After dropping a 6-4 decision to Augsburg’s Solomon Nielsen, Major responded in a big way, scoring a 21- 3 tech fall over Castleton’s Cooper Fleming. Major was leading 21-3 at the time of the third-period stoppage. Major will take on RIT’s unseeded Zach Stedeford to kick off his Saturday.
UpNext: The action on the final day of competition begins at 11 am
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